A Dirty Rotten Doubter and a Touchable Jesus (My Redeemer Lives 2:2)

Don’t you just hate it when someone defines you by one action  —

that one time you were mean in junior high,

the forgotten birthday your sibling won’t let you forget,

the time you got that speeding ticket…or three.

That last one might just be me.

No one loves a label, particularly one with a negative connotation, and especially one that just won’t die.

In this way we can completely relate to Thomas. How would you like to be remembered in infamy as the Doubter, with Doubting always added as a catchy pre-fix to your name?

Before we define Thomas by one passage of Scripture in John 20, let’s preface our post-resurrection-Thomas reading with less famous passages in which he makes his appearance.

In John 11:16, following the resurrection of Lazarus, Thomas proclaims his absolute willingness to die with Jesus:

So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 

In John 14:5-6, Thomas asks questions of Jesus, to understand and know His teacher, His Savior more, a clear mark of discipleship:

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

When my husband showed me these verses, my heart became tender toward Thomas. He seems a little like an all-in or all-out kind of person, something I lend toward myself. However, it’s not how I see Thomas that matters, but how Jesus sees Thomas, and in our famous “Doubting” Thomas passage in John 20, Jesus makes His thoughts and His grace quite clear for our Doubter.

Read John 20:19-29 –

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Let’s put the emphasis here where it belongs: on Christ, rather than Thomas, so we can see Thomas for who Christ sees Thomas to be.

Jesus reaches in.

He reaches into Thomas’s questions.

He reaches into Thomas’s stubbornness.

He reaches into Thomas’s failure.

The Risen Christ gives Thomas the same gift He gave everyone else, despite his doubts. He offers him confession and forgiveness, new eyes, and a new heart.

I’m especially struck by the direct translation of the Greek for John 20:27:

“Bring the finger of you here, and see the hands of me, and bring the hand of you, and put (it) into the side of me.”

The timbre of it gives attention to the intimacy Jesus offered in response to Thomas’s proclamation that he would “never believe” unless he saw the marks and placed his hands in Jesus’ side.

Jesus takes the time and effort to address our fears and our failures. He doesn’t leave Thomas in shame. He offers the very thing Thomas says he needs. Now, this doesn’t always happen. When we ask for a sign, that doesn’t mean we’ll get it…or does it? Look further down in John Chapter 20 to find the answer.

John 20:30-31 –

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

These are written, Thomas’s story is written as a sign for us. The Word of Life, the entirety of Scripture is the Sign for us. In fact, the signs are so many, so full that they can’t all be recorded in Scripture. He writes them in our lives and on our hearts.
We are all Thomases…Dirty Doubters, but we have a Touchable Savior.
Our Risen Savior comes into our lives and into our homes in His Word, answering questions, giving signs of Who He is and What He does for us every day. That same confession and forgiveness He offered Thomas is what defines us through the Resurrection of Jesus.
Thomas – Touched by Jesus….that’s his real name and how we are blessed to remember him.
Leave your name in the comments below, like my example here, write it large on a paper to remind yourself, and/or write it on your hand with an eyeliner or a marker. Let’s proclaim the Resurrection’s grace in our lives together.

I am Heidi – Touched by Jesus

Afraid, Alarmed, Amazed – All Those Resurrection Emotions (My Redeemer Lives 2:1)

Emotions are often my best friends and my dirty rotten enemies, all within the same day.

I struggle with ups and downs, sideways movements, and hostage-like situations with glad, sad, mad, and just plain blah.

I was also once congratulated by a nurse during childbirth for my “amazing sense of self-control.” Probably my favorite compliment to date…ever.

So, which person am I? A happy one? A frustrated one? A self-controlled one?

I’m encouraged to know that it doesn’t work like that. I’m not defined by my output, my responses, or my reactions on any given day. If I’m honest, that’s one of my greatest fears — that people will see me, my family will see me, as the woman who lost it while cooking dinner, the woman who exudes joy but cries quietly in the bathroom when she gets a moment, the angry mom from last Tuesday.

Fear and failure are hulking realities in our lives. They cast a shadow on our days and our emotions often top the list of where we think we don’t measure up.

2 Timothy 1:7 is often quoted to aid our Christian walk-

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

When I hear this, my first thoughts are

“Get it under control, Heidi.”

Any time you share this as a meme or share across the table with a friend struggling with emotions, I would venture a bet that this is the message they hear,

“Get it under control.”

But God gives verses in context and that context is always the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Even our emotions are best understood in this context.

So let’s see today what power and message the resurrection has for all those emotions.

Read Mark 16:1-6 to discover more:

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.

“Do not be alarmed.”

This assumes obvious and vagrant emotions on the part of the women showing up at the tomb – shock, surprise, maybe fear, a mixture.

The Greek word for alarmed in Mark 16:6 is ekthambeisthe, from the root ekthambeó. It’s more closely related to awe and wonder than fear alone. Finding Jesus gone was a shock for these women. Finding an angel, a messenger of God in all his glory, still more shocking. I love that the Helps Word Studies at biblehub.com refers to the Greek text translation as being “out of one’s senses” because of what they saw, what they experienced, the shock of the reality of God’s intervention.

The parallel in Matthew 28:5-10 does directly reference fear though.

Matthew 28:5-

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

The Greek here is phobeisthe from phobeó — withdraw in fear, flee, avoid —but also includes reverence. The words are different and have a different emphasis from the writers. But I think it’s safe to say that what the women experienced at the resurrection was a mixture of emotions

in reference to who they were based on what God can do, who God is.

When we recognize ourselves in relation to God, the power of God, God’s control, God’s perfection, when that’s what we hear on its own with no resurrection context in 2 Timothy 1:7, we will feel completely an utterly


Lost in a world of emotions and their hold on our spirits.

But the context of the resurrection overarching all we know and experience of God changes everything.

He does not define us by moments, by responses, by the angry mom on Tuesday versus the joyful woman in worship.

Jesus’ death and resurrection tells us that He sees us as significant.

His response does not change based on what we feel at the moment — shock, awe, sadness, joy, wonder, anger, fear.

The message of the angel to the women was not just “do not,” but also see who He is –

“He has risen; he is not here.”

Do not be alarmed, do not be afraid, there is no need. I think we read it wrong and out of context. God always reaches out, never pushes away, when Jesus stands as the intermediary. He sees our fear, our frustration, our astonishment and says, “Don’t separate yourself from me. Come in for a closer look.”

The resurrection invites us in for a closer look.

Read 2 Timothy 1:6-7, again-

 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

The knowledge of the resurrection, resurrection reality in our lives, fans into flame the gift — Christ in our hearts, the Spirit firing up in our souls.

It’s a gift. When we feel overwhelmed, out of our senses with emotions, we can go in for a closer look at God in His Word, be encouraged, be refreshed, and begin to sort it all out in a safe space at His feet.

Prepare to be astonished, amazed, a little afraid, but always significant, no matter the emotion — in His resurrection. What hope do you hear in Jesus reaching out to you in the midst of emotions? What promise does the resurrection hold no matter your state of mind?

You can download this Scripture card and one for every day of the week at PureJoyCreative.com.

Don’t forget this week’s Bible margin to help you reflect as you study.


*Greek study references at biblehub.com –




Join the discussion by sharing your thoughts and insights in the comments, here and on social media.


Catch the week two video here:

Feminine UpRising

Downloadable Video Viewer Guide

Rest in the Resurrection – Job 19:25-26 (My Redeemer Lives 1:5)

Today, I invite you to rest.

Rest in the knowledge that the work has been done.

You study the Word in freedom.

You live this life, not in the shadow of shame, but in the grace of a Savior who takes whatever burdens you and walks out of the tomb.

Remember His physical promises for our physical pain and reality.

Remember His right hand reaching out to us, even as He holds power over death and life.

Remember opened tombs and living escapees in the middle of it all.

Remember the Seed who boldly died and rose and gladly gives you this Resurrection Life. Live it bold!

What promises from this past week stuck with you the most?

Rest in these Truths today.


And here’s all the optional stuff…

Week One Printable Scripture Cards:

Week One Bible Margin:



Week One Video Segment:

Destruction to Resurrection